A Day at School / Une Journée à L’école by S. Cordier & C. Lacroix
Cordier, Séverine and Cynthia Lacroix. A Day at School / Une Journée à L’école. Trans. Sarah Quinn. Toronto: Owlkids Books, 2013. Print.
The format co-creators Cordier and Lacroix use in Picture My Day, Picture My World, and A Day at the Farm succeeds very nicely in this picture book as well. Their success has much to do with both their sensitivity to the target audience (pre-school to grade one), and their anticipation of the book’s use. They provide abundant illustration, keeping the text very brief. Short sentences or mere labeling hint at, but do not force, the storyline. The latter is created, in large part, by the reader.
This book would work very well in a one-on-one situation: one adult, one child. The adult might prompt,
“Where do you think they went on their holidays? What are they buying for school? How are they getting ready for their day? I wonder where Mummy and the baby are going? Let’s see where Daddy and the children are going.” and so forth.
Inspired by an array of color filled drawings, even a non-reading child could flesh out the story, making it the same every time—for comfort’s sake—or different every time—for variety’s sake. The key factor is the child’s involvement.
The vocabulary used in the text is well within the range of the intended audience. Most five-year-olds would begin to memorize the text after a few readings; most grade ones would actually recognize and read the words by the end of their first year at school. In sum, A Day at School is an invitation to imagine, to create, to read and to learn.
Highly recommended: 4 out of 4 stars
Reviewer: Leslie Aitken
Leslie Aitken’s long career in librarianship involved selection of children’s literature for school, public, special, and university collections. She is a former Curriculum Librarian at the University of Alberta.
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